Company’s bulging order book

Pat Herbert
Pat Herbert

A CABLE firm with more than £100m of contracts on its order books is on target to create more jobs.

JDR Cables arrived in Hartlepool in 2009 with a £20m plant and talk of a workforce which could eventually reach 200 people.

Two years later, JDR is still on course to achieve its dream, said executive chairman Pat Herbert.

“There are no signs that we won’t,” he said as he revealed the company was waiting for the outcome of Round 3 activities in the UK’s offshore wind energy process.

Round 3 has seen contracts awarded to nine coalitions of companies to develop offshore wind farms around the UK. Round 3 will result in a quarter of the UK’s total electricity being provided by offshore wind farms by the end of the decade.

But the battle to clinch work in the supply chains goes on and JDR is hoping to be part of that.

JDR now employs “close to 160 people” at its site in Greenland Road in Hartlepool where it makes subsea cables for sectors such as the offshore wind energy market.

Mr Herbert added: “We have had steady growth so far and we anticipate further steady growth as long as the market holds out. That is the only thing that prevents us from doing more and hiring more. We expand the employment as we grow the business. It is a direct relationship.”

Despite the fragile economy, JDR’s rate of activity and inquiries for new business was “looking promising,” added Mr Herbert.

“Everyone in Hartlepool has been very supportive and we continue to build our people and our factory.”

Mr Herbert spoke to the Mail within weeks of taking on his new role and after 10 years as the JDR chief executive officer.

“I am still looking after the shareholders, the stakeholders and the strategic direction that we take,” he said.

“I am helping to keep our order pipeline full.

“We are still looking at further projects and going forward we have no reason to believe otherwise.”

Mr Herbert said the company’s current backlog of subsea cable projects was more than £100m and growing.

As well as his own change of title, JDR has appointed Andrew Norman as chief executive and Mr Herbert said the company now had the leadership team to “take JDR to the next stage of its development”.